in·​fer·​no | \ in-ˈfər-(ˌ)nō How to pronounce inferno (audio) \
plural infernos

Definition of inferno

: a place or a state that resembles or suggests hell the inferno of war also : an intense fire : conflagration a raging inferno

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Examples of inferno in a Sentence

By the time help arrived, the fire had grown to a raging inferno. the intense heat of the raging inferno repeatedly drove back the firefighters
Recent Examples on the Web Some 150 firefighters and 50 trucks quelled the inferno before anyone was killed, but none of the fishing gear used to deliver approximately two-thirds of San Francisco’s fresh seafood was salvaged. J.k. Dineen,, "After Pier 45 fire, San Francisco pledges $1 million-plus in grants, loans for fishers," 9 June 2020 Both men faced up to 39 years in prison if convicted of all charges stemming from the deadly inferno Dec. 2, 2016, at an electronic music party in Oakland’s Fruitvale neighborhood. Megan Cassidy,, "Coronavirus: Ghost Ship defendant Derick Almena released from jail," 4 May 2020 Most tragically, on the outer edge of the revolving inferno two children and their great-grandmother perished inside their burned home. Jason M. Forthofer, Scientific American, "Can Scientists Predict Fire Tornadoes?," 20 Nov. 2019 The cause of the inferno remains unknown, according to Denver Fire Department officials. Joe Rubino, The Denver Post, "Denver apartment project to be rebranded after being destroyed in fatal 2018 fire," 11 Nov. 2019 The deadly inferno aboard a Southern California diving boat has spread grief through the Bay Area’s tightly connected dive community — and a new kind of fear. Ethan Baron, The Mercury News, "Dive boat tragedy spreads grief, fear through region’s tightly knit dive community," 8 Sep. 2019 Still, the fact it was filed just three days after the deadly inferno Monday came as a surprise to legal observers. NBC News, "California diving boat owners seek to head off lawsuits after 34 die in fire," 6 Sep. 2019 Eighty-five people died and nearly 19,000 buildings burned in the inferno, nearly wiping out the town of Paradise. J.d. Morris,, "PG&E bankruptcy plan gets broad support from fire victims, attorneys say," 15 May 2020 The hot air rising from the inferno below pushed the 37-ton airplane up 5,000 feet, then dropped it just as quickly seconds later, according to the journal. Brad Lendon And Emiko Jozuka, CNN, "History's deadliest air raid happened in Tokyo during World War II and you've probably never heard of it," 7 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inferno.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of inferno

1834, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for inferno

Italian, hell, from Late Latin infernus

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Time Traveler for inferno

Time Traveler

The first known use of inferno was in 1834

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Statistics for inferno

Last Updated

21 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Inferno.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for inferno


How to pronounce inferno (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of inferno

: a very large and dangerous fire

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More from Merriam-Webster on inferno

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for inferno

Spanish Central: Translation of inferno

Nglish: Translation of inferno for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inferno for Arabic Speakers

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